It’s no secret that I LOVE the Writing & Rhetoric series from Classical Academic Press. We’ve tried many different writing programs and this is at the top of our favorite curriculum list – even my daughter would agree!
The second book in the series, Narrative I, focuses on using stories like fables and myths to teach various writing principles. Take a peek at the program with me!
The Writing & Rhetoric Series
Before we dive into the second book in the series, I want to share a little background about the Writing & Rhetoric program. The series is based on the Classic Progymnasmata (which is, at its simplest form a series of exercises to guide students through the process of writing and speaking). Classical Academic Press has taken this complex process and arranged it into a simple series of books and exercises perfect for children (and moms who need a little help with teaching writing in this Classical style).
The complete series will include 12 books and covers writing for grades 3-9. Currently, there are seven books in the series and, at least for the early books, you can easily cover two books a year.
Book 2: Narrative I
The second book in the series, Narrative I, is the first of two books to cover narrative writing. By using model stories (parables, tales, and myths), students learn the important elements in creating stories. Over the course of the book, they’ll cover dialogue, description, main ideas, and conflict through narration, copywork, and dictation exercises as well as other writing assignments. Lessons slowly build, adding new material and incorporating previously learned material. This book is perfect for 3rd-4th-grade students (but we used it in 5th grade with no trouble at all – it was perfect for my daughter).
Narrative I includes two books – a student workbook as well as a teacher’s edition that includes extra teacher helps and answers. Another fun addition is the audio files – students can listen Dr. Perrin present the stories, parables, and myths from the lessons.
Lessons include the following sections:
- Tell it Back – narrate the story
- Talk About It – discuss the story
- Go Deeper – applied application of the discussion
- Writing Time – various writing exercises
- Speak It – presentation or research assignments
How we use Narrative I
Even though the recommended grades for the first few books in the series are 3rd-4th grade, we used Narrative I during my daughter’s 5th-grade year with great success. We covered one lesson every other week, alternating with additional writing assignments in history and literature following the same basic format:
- Day one: I read the lesson introduction aloud and we discussed the main points. The teacher helps are a great addition for this part of the lesson. Then I read the story aloud or we listened to the audio. After the story was finished, my daughter would narrate the story back to me. Afterwards, we worked through the Talk About It and Go Deeper sections.
- Day Two: We started our next writing session with my daughter reading the story aloud to me (it’s good practice for public speaking) before working on the copywork and dictation assignments. Then we moved on to the sentence play assignments (these are lots of fun – a great way to work on sentence variety and creative writing skills). For example, your child may be asked to change all the verbs or nouns in a sentence – they learn the parts of speech while working on creative writing lessons.
- Day Three: During our final lesson of the week I had my daughter work on any additional writing exercises and assignments from the Speak It section of the lesson.
We’ve really enjoyed the books we’ve used in this series (books 1-3, so far). It’s perfect for kids who like to discuss and talk about their lessons – this is definitely a ‘cuddle-and-chat’ kind of curriculum. The student book also allows for more independence, if your child prefers that. It’s versatile and can be used in many different learning situations. My daughter is definitely a ‘cuddle-and-chat’ kid and this writing program is the perfect fit for us.
Writing & Rhetoric: Narrative I is available directly from the publisher, Classical Academic Press.
If you’d like to read more about this fabulous writing program, I recently reviewed the first book in the series here at The Curriculum Choice – Writing & Rhetoric: Fable
~ Written by Tonia from The Sunny Patch
Phyllis at All Things Beautiful says
Where would you start with a 7th grader? Could you start with books later in the series or do you need to start with the beginning books?
Tonia @ The Sunny Patch says
I don’t think you need to start with the first few books, but it really depends on what writing experience your 7th grader already has. I would call Classical Academic Press directly and ask them – they are great about helping with placement questions!